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Bengals at Redskins Postgame Quotes


Opening statement:

"Well, it's just disappointing that guys didn't push it in there at the end. I thought in the first half, again, the biggest thing is that we had the fumble. The defense was able to get some sudden change work in which is good. We just have to keep going. But, a lot of positives, so we'll watch the tape and go from there."

* *

On the first-team offense, specifically QB Andy Dalton:

"Again, I thought, again it was a long time ago now. From what I can remember, I was pleased at that point. We just have to keep going. You know, they had good action. They had 29 plays, I guess there in the first half, which is good."

On the first-team defense:

"Well, they did a good job today on third down, which was key. We haven't played as well on third down defensively this preseason yet. So we made some good strides that way today which was good."

On Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden and his offense:

"Well, we know offensively they're going to hit all areas of the field. You know, we're going to get screens, nakeds, boots, all the things that come off the running game – different runs, different schemes. So it's good for our guys to be exposed to things like this, particularly when you don't spend a lot of time preparing. You're just having to use rules and bases and things, and this is what we see and everybody does it together."

On if there are any injury updates:


On the first drive:

"No, I said that was a long time ago. I don't remember that. But, I was pleased with things in the football game other than Joe's [Mixon] fumble to begin. But, it was good.  The defense had to go in and play a sudden change situation and they were able to go in and get a stop."

On the overall performance of first team:

"I think we did some good things. Again, the takeaway, that was a positive. I thought our tempo was good, things like that. So that was good."

On the team being sharp, specifically the defense:

"Yeah, with different guys. You know, we got Geno [Atkins] out of there early in base downs and wanted to play the young guys in there and let them get in there and mix it up together. So, that was good. You know, we just have to keep going."

On LB Carl Lawson:

"Yeah, it was good exposure tonight for Carl after not playing last week. You know, what he needs to do is get back confidence and so forth and play. He got to play a lot in base defense in the second half, and those are good things and we just got to keep it coming."

On RB Joe Mixon fumbling:

"Just have to take care of the ball."

On the way the first half ended:

"I don't remember how the first half ended [laughter]. How did the first half end? [Reporter: Three-and-out on offense and then they scored twice.] Well, we had the ball at the end of the half, right? [Reporter: Yeah.] Then again, I don't really remember."

On RB Giovani Bernard getting action:

"Yeah, it was good for Gio to get some plays today. Everybody got an opportunity to play and that was good."

On TE Tyler Eifert being a coach's decision:

"Yeah, you know, he's dealing with a little tendinitis. We're trying to just make sure he's ready to go when the time comes."

On Eifert being ready for season opener:

"I mean he was ready tonight, but we kept him out."


On an accomplished first drive:

"For sure. I think for us, we got the third down, we converted the third down, but then they called the offensive pass interference. To overcome that and get a first down there, and then just keeping that drive going – we did see a lot and we were able to do a lot of different things on that drive. What was it, 15 plays? Was that what it was? To have a drive like that to start the game and punch it in the end zone is how we wanted to start. It was good. What we have talked about this whole time is being able to score once we get down there and so to do that on the first drive is big for us. A good start to the game."

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On spreading the ball around:

"Yeah, I think that's one thing that we have talked about during the week. You know, we got a lot of these guys and we are able to spread the ball around and get different guys involved, and so we did that on that drive and different guys made plays and it's what you got to have."

* *

On scripting plays and following these scripts:

"We always put some top plays together and I don't know if we went exactly straight down the list, because once you get down to third down, it kind of throws you off a little bit. But yeah, I thought we kind of knew the plan going in and what we wanted to do and we made it work."

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On the potential of WR John Ross:

"I think the best thing for him right now is for him to keep playing. This is his first game action. You know, he's only had about a week of practice really and so the more that he is out doing things, getting the reps, the better he will be and the better feel and timing that we will have with him. But it was a good start today. I think he touched the ball maybe one time and nine yards around the edge and got to kind of show his speed there. But yeah, the more that he is playing, the more the reps that he gets, the better we will be."

* *

On DT Geno Atkins warming up for the season:

"I think that is kind of just anybody. When you haven't played for a while and you know you are getting your first action, you know the more you play, the more comfortable you feel." 

On the Bengals' defensive performance:

"It was great, with the big interception and the return. Our defense played really good and I think the way our defense played, I think that's kind of why their one offense came out in the second half and started that first drive. So my hat's off to them, they played great today."

On the preseason exemplifying how the season will go:

"I mean, if we could have converted one of those third downs we could've kept it going. You know, we had the right play call. We did exactly what we did. I mean obviously we can't have the turnover, so that hurt us, but then that next drive we had the third down call. We were half a yard short maybe.  We had the play call we wanted and their guy just made a tackle and we missed it by half a yard. So there's a couple things like that where you're close and you wish that drive would've kept going. We were in good rhythm at that point."

On fumbling during preseason:

"I mean it's one of those things, it's like you take a million handoffs in your life and I hand the ball off a million times and it was just one of those things where [the ball] didn't make it in there. I have to make sure I get it in there.  It's hard to say – the ball came out so quick it's hard to tell. For me, I've got to do my job and make sure it gets put in there."

* *

On reconnecting with Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden:

"Obviously I was with Jay for three years and Jay brought me in, so it's fun catching up and seeing how his family is doing and how things are going for him. It's always fun when you cross paths with coaches that you've had. He was great. I loved playing for him and he kind of gave me the foundation of my NFL career and taught me a lot, so he was fun to be around."

On hallmark moments working with Gruden:

"Well, he loves to throw the ball, so that's obviously great from an NFL quarterback standpoint. I just think being around him every day, he keeps it fun.  He keeps it light and he knows when to get on you too. I just think the atmosphere that he brought was a lot of fun to be a part of and I know all the guys loved him."

On the Bengals' pass protection:

"I thought those guys did a good job and gave me time, and you know, that's one thing we've been able to do. I've been able to move a little bit and get out of a couple of scrambles and different things, so I think they've done a great job so far."


On his debut:

"It's amazing, just to be in the atmosphere and a part of the team. I've only really been playing about two weeks out of this whole year, so just to get in and get my feet wet – it feels good to be out there."

On first NFL game nerves:

"Not really, because I was so focused on 'Don't make mistakes' because I'm kind of a perfectionist. I definitely was happy, but I was more worried about making sure I was doing the right thing and not having any mental errors. That's easy to come up with as a rookie, so I kind of wanted to get in and play my game. I think I was out there thinking too much, but I think that's just a rookie thing and it's going to be like that for a little while. It's my first week and I still have a lot of growing and learning to do."

On being overthrown:

"I actually got overthrown in our conference rivalry game last year, so it's happened before.  But it's always my fault when it happens, so I have to go back and watch the film and I've got to get a better release on that."

On running the jet sweep:

"It depends on what the coaches pick and if they trust me with it. If my number is called, I'll take advantage of it and do the best I can."


On if the first-string offense's touchdown was a relief:

"I wouldn't say that. I mean it was a good first drive. I think the consistency hasn't been where it needs to be for us as a unit. It's always good to start the first drive off with a touchdown, but we have to pick it up a lot more and eliminate penalties and convert on third downs more."

On his feelings this week compared to the loss against the Chiefs:

"I mean we lost again today so I wouldn't say we feel that great about ourselves. Obviously it's a start to get that first drive down there, but we have to continue to put points on the board and score touchdowns. We have so much talent on our offense and we haven't been performing to our standard level we're used to."

On expectations for the offense:

"Like I just said, we have a ton of talent on our offense and we haven't performed well yet. But if we continue to play off each other like that first drive, we'll be tough to stop. We just have to continue to execute."

On if they are ready for regular season:

"Oh, yeah, I would say so. We still have some work to do, but when it comes to September 10, we'll be ready to roll."


On feeling frustrated during practice and having the chance to get on the field:

"It's a relief and a blessing. Like I said many times before, my biggest thing – because I'm obsessed with football – is making sure my body is healthy and I can be as good as I want to be. So I'll just keep working."

On remembering the sequence of his penalties, neutral zone infraction and a holding call:

"I can't really remember. I thought it was because I hit the quarterback low, but it wasn't.  I guess it was holding. I don't really pay attention to holding and stuff like that, I just go."

On drawing a holding penalty:

"Yeah, it helps the defense out. Whatever I can do to help the team."

On what being a disruptive player during a preseason game does for his confidence:

"Like I told you many times before, I sit there and watch film. I'm obsessed with football.  I know I can play.  I'm just making sure my body is healthy and making sure I do the little things.  Two things – making sure my body is healthy and making sure I'm 100 miles per hour all the time. When I start thinking about it, there's a player [in front of me]. Those are the only two things I need to worry about and I think I'll be very successful."


On the aborted punt going viral:

"No, I'm not really aware of that. It's not the kind of play I want to have go viral. It's a breakdown in protection. We got out there with 10 guys and it's on all of us to make sure we have enough guys. So luckily it was in the preseason we can learn from it – hopefully it never happens again."

On his instinct to go behind the back:

"No. I've played basketball before but I'm not a very good basketball player. I don't really know where it came from. I haven't checked my phone yet, but I'm sure I've got some buddies who are wondering where that came from as well."

On if going behind the back was rehearsed:

"I didn't really know I did it until after the fact. I guess it was instinct. That's not something we practice – having guys running at you. So it happened and I was trying to get the ball off still, but they were able to get me before I could get that. Fortunately, it's preseason."


On if he baited QB Kirk Cousins and RB Chris Thompson on the pick-six:

"I tried to. I didn't want to bait him too much because then obviously he would catch a pass. I tried to act like he was open and then at the last second just make a run at him."

On his celebration and embracing the new rule:

"Honestly, I didn't care about the celebration rule. I was so tired. My legs were so tired.  I was like, 'I'm going to go up into the seats.'"


On injuries:

"Phil Taylor Sr. has a quad injury; we'll get an MRI on it. Josh Doctson did not play. His leg was a little stiff, a little sore and Ryan Anderson; stinger, still was a little weak in his shoulder. Hopefully we'll get him ready for Thursday."

On the slow start:

"Very slow start. We didn't really tweak a whole lot. We just stuck with our plan and we just executed a lot better. That's usually the case. We had some good hits in the running game. Rob Kelley finally got going and the line gave him some areas to run and Kirk [Cousins] was efficient in the passing game. He had a big third-and-11 conversion there but the opening drive; we had third-and-one and we had an illegal shift, which I still don't know what that was, but I guess we weren't set before we set the motion. That can't happen on third-and-one and we ended up not getting it on third-and-six, took a big sack. Then, the defense gave up a 17-play drive and they converted a third-and-17 and third-and-10 on that drive and that's been an emphasis, but we've got to get off the field."

On his concern with continual slow starts:

"Well, I'm a little concerned. I addressed it in the locker room over there, we've just got to figure out something to do – eat a different pregame meal or something, change the first 15 up. We'll get it right. I think the guys will come out with a little bit more energy, more urgency hopefully come Philadelphia. They have to. We can't start like that in the NFL consistently and expect to win a lot of games."

On where the stiffness was for WR Josh Doctson:

"Same issue – hamstring, groin-ish. Just kind of right around that area."

On when he knew Doctson was not going to play:

"Pregame warmup. He just felt a little sore. He went out and worked out pregame, so he was running but I chose to keep him out."

On if Doctson would have played if it were a regular season game:


On if this team is still in search of an identity:

"I don't know if anybody truly has their identity set in the third preseason game. I think that's something that's going to be ever-changing and we're going to try to establish that as the regular season goes on with some consistent play. That's what it's all about – playing consistent and starting a little bit faster obviously, but I like the way we bounced back. That's part of pro football. We're not going to have everything go our way the whole time. We're going to have some adversity and how we handle it is how good we're going to be. We throw a pick-six, we come back the next drive and take it 75 yards for a touchdown – I was impressed with that. That's good stuff. Our identity? We'll see. I'd like to be a physical football team on both sides of the ball, both fronts, and be able to run the ball and stop the run so we're working towards that."

On the starting defense:

"Yeah, the lengthy drive – well, the third down conversion was huge. Third-and-17, A.J. [Green] ran a great route. He kind of crossed face on Josh [Norman] and Andy [Dalton] made a great throw. That can happen from time to time. We had a third-and-11 and they just put together a good drive, hats off to them. They got off to a better start and made the plays, so we just got to figure out a way to get in the passing lane or get off the field somehow."

On the run game:

"Yeah, I liked it. I liked it, we did a good job. There were a couple holding calls that I don't like – you get a first-and-10 and feel like you're gaining some momentum and you get a couple of holding calls that take you out of some drives but for the most part, I think we were able to do a couple different things. We tried some gap pulls and some gap runs. We did some outside zone, some inside zones and for the most part I guess we executed well."

On the pass protection:

"Early on I think we had Jordan Reed on shallow cross and he progressed and went to Jamison [Crowder] and they had a five-man line, five-man pass rush with some gains. Geno [Atkins] and I think one of their rookies got a sack on Trent [Williams] or something, I don't know. Good pass rush, they've got a good pass rush over there. They really do, so we got to get the ball out a little bit quicker on some of those and protect a little bit better."

On QB Kirk Cousins' attempting to tackle Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict:

"He risked his body to go make a tackle? I would hope so. It's a competitive sport. To let a guy score a touchdown on our home field is unacceptable so I'm happy he did that. That was the right move. He should do that."

On the pick-six throw:

"The throw? It was a great play by [Cincinnati LB] Vontaze [Burfict]. They played man-to-man. He worked the right side of the field. They jumped our arrow-route so he worked late, a little bit late to the flat, which you don't want to work that late to the flat. That ball has to come out quicker. It was a great play by Vontaze, so hats off to him."

On the play of LB Junior Galette:

"I don't know. I'll have to check it out. I saw a couple rushes that he had, looked like he got some pressure. He said he was a little tight. It was good getting him out there. I'll have to watch film. I didn't just watch him the whole time."

On if Galette will play Thursday:

"We're going to check it out and see how he's doing. It probably is enough. We'll see how he's feeling."

On Bengals QB Andy Dalton:

"I've always been impressed with Andy. He's been a pro since he stepped foot in this league. Part of the reason I'm standing here is because of Andy. Out of respect for Andy, he is a great quarterback and they have a good team over there."


On his pick six:

"Sure, I'll answer your first question. The interception was entirely my fault. We need [inaudible] and end up throwing it much more quickly so that he can't break on the ball and get the interception. He made a very good play, but I gave him the opportunity to do that by being a little late to get there. And then it was a good response to put that drive together. We ran the ball so well with some really good play calls. All those plays run together for me right now so you probably know better than me how we got down there. But it was important to bounce back, certainly."

On his interception with LB Vontaze Burfict:

"Didn't hear anything from the coaches specifically. I feel like once we cross those lines, whether it's the preseason or regular season, you just play. If you start to back off, that's probably where you're starting to risk an injury. At first, I thought maybe I should've given a better effort. I didn't want to extend my arm, so I just kind of threw a shoulder. At first, when I looked up at the jumbotron I felt like maybe I should have done a better job form tackling him, but I guess no one is complaining about it."

On the running game:

"Makes a big difference because we hand one off and the seas just parted. Next thing you know the ball is in the midfield. I didn't do anything—I just handed the ball off and next thing you know we're mid field. It takes a lot of pressure off of our passing game and off of me, really good play design. Specifically, on that play, you can see the seas just parted and the defensive end chases me when I don't have the ball. It really opens up Rob [Kelley], so good job Bill [Callahan] creating those plays to get those openings. I just thought Rob and Samaje [Perine] ran really hard today. They lowered their pads and did all they could trying to fight for extra yards. I really think that's why Rob Kelley is our starting running back. You saw it last year—he just kept fighting for extra yards. He has that spin move that he'll give and he finds a way when it's a four-yard run to get six. He finds a way when it's a one-yard loss to get a two-yard gain. I think that's the sign of a good back. Not necessarily the home run hit but just getting us a couple more yards when the play really didn't allow for it."

On his passes to WR Terrelle Pryor Sr.:

"I can think of three passes that we would have liked to have completed, but I think that all three of those, I think the throw doesn't give [Terrelle Pryor Sr.] as much of a chance as I would like. The one in Baltimore was a little high, the one last week was certainly high and thrown way too fast, and then this one today you know, I led him a little too far. He's reaching out and there are times where he wants the ball to stop and he wants to be a big target. That's where we have to learn that and grow together. Going against different coverages and different teams really helps. We have been seeing a lot of the same coverages, day in and day out at training camp.  Some of these routes we're not working until we get to the preseason game because those routes are dead versus some of the coverages we're seeing in practice. This is really good work for us. It is a work in progress and I think Terrelle will just keep getting better and better as he gets more reps and more experience. But we don't have time, we have to be ready Week 1. We know that, so there's a lot of potential there and I'm excited for where we're going to go together this season."

On if the nature of preseason makes it harder to maintain momentum:

"The preseason can be challenging because in a regular game, if you don't start fast but finish stronger and win, everybody is happy. In the preseason, if you don't start fast and you're out, you didn't play well at all. Same can be true the other way. If you do start fast and don't finish strong in the regular season you're not happy so it takes four quarters and that's what we have to remember when it comes to Week 1. It's a long football game, based on the day, it goes back and forth. There's turnovers on both sides, there's mistakes made, there's big plays made. It's a long game. In the NFL, it does come down to the last two minutes most of these games, so we have to be there at the end and give ourselves a chance to win."

On TE Jordan Reed:

"I think today it would have been smarter to work away from him at times because they are aware of where he's lined up and I think there's safety eyes lined up on him. He's being doubled if you will, from a distance, so we have to take advantage of the other side of the field when that happens. Today I don't know if I did that as well as I could have. So, good to have him back. I did feel the defense was aware of him today. He is a presence, has a big effect on every game plan, so we have to continue getting him out there and working together and get ready for Week 1."

On if the offense is ready for Week 1:

"I don't think really we know what kind of team we have until maybe October. I think it's always evolving, you're learning, but we're going to have to be ready. We don't have a choice. So if the question is if we're going to be ready, the answer is yes, we're going to be ready to go. We'll get started right away. We're not going to focus on Tampa this week. After we watch the game film tomorrow, we'll start watching the Philly film and get ready. So we got two weeks and we need to come away with a 'W,' especially at home. It's a big opportunity for us."

On his schedule this week:

"Tomorrow we watch the film of this game, which will be important to have the conversation and learn what we can from this game. We'll have some time tomorrow cause that won't take all day, then start on Philly watching tape and Tuesday is going to feel like a Friday, a normal Friday and Sunday to Sunday work week. We'll have a good practice and Coach [Jay Gruden] will decide what the reps are as far as getting ready for Tampa, and then Philly. We'll get our reps in and Wednesday we travel to Tampa. So it's watching film on your own time and just continuing to communicate well with the guys around you so we're all on the same page and ready to go."

* *

On what the passing game is capable of:

"We do have high expectations, for a lot of different reasons. For one, we do protect well, we have a very solid offensive line, that's where it starts. You have to have time to throw. We do feel we have several players, not just at the receiver position, but the tight end position and the running back position who can help us in the pass game, and it's never going to be the same guy week in and week out, it's probably going to evolve each week—who gets involved and who makes the biggest difference. But we have high expectations and you have to be ready to go."


On his time on the field tonight:

"It felt great to be back out there on the football field. I know I missed the first preseason game, and you know it's really my second game back so I was trying to really make a jump from the last game that I played. I feel like I did some good things out there but, you know, I've still got a lot of things I need to work on. Missed a sack out there, missed a third-and-one tackle, so that's what my mindset is. I've got to make sure I come out to be a perfect player."

On the second-team defense:

"We definitely went out there with a chip on our shoulder. I felt like we did a great job. We got a few stops out there, the turnovers, the sudden change, we did a good job and I'm thankful for that. Just got to keep getting better."

On his emotions on the field:

"Every single day, it's just getting there. Once I get fully 100 percent, you know it'll be a lot more of that. I'm just thankful for how the day went, came out healthy and just keep getting better."


On his first rep back on the field:

"It was amazing, man. I mean I've been preparing pretty well, you know we got great coaches here. They've been kind of giving us keys. It just felt great, man. You know I've been doing everything I did in the game in practice so it just felt great, you know to actually go do it in live action."

On if he had any self-doubt prior to that moment:

"Nah, there was no doubt. I mean, I'm going against the best tackle in the league [Trent Williams] every day. So you know, it's like I beat him, then I know in the league, in the game, it's going to be a cake walk."

On how he felt physically and if he had any rust to knock off:

"Physically, I've just got to get my hamstring straight. Got to, you know it's not 100 percent, just got to get it right. I'm able to go, but I just got to keep getting treatment that they're giving me. They've been doing a real good job. I'm just getting out there."


On what the defense is learning:

"One thing, last week and this week we need to start faster. Not just as a defense but as a team. We need to, we can't have these long drives to start out the game. We rebounded well and kind of shut them down after that but you know we only gave up 10 points, ultimately, as a defense today. But we just got to find a way to start faster and not let those drives run long like that."

On what he thought he did well today:

"I thought we, after the first drive, I thought we got off the field pretty well on third down, got some good pressure on the quarterback with the front four and if we can keep doing that we'll be pretty good."

On the fourth quarter defense:

"That pick was big. They were driving down there to score and potentially take the lead, so for them to get that stop, not only with Fish [Smithson]'s interception, but then you know on that last drive of the game, with Will [Blackmon] making a nice play in the backfield and ultimately getting the stop, that was big."


On his concern about slow starts in the first three games:

"Coach [Jay Gruden] mentioned it after the game and we just have to keep working hard in practice."

On how close the team is to being ready for the regular season opener:

"I think we are real close, man, and I think we are in a good position to be right where we need to be at the first game."

On why he believes this team is close to being ready for Philadelphia in Week 1:

"I have got to go out and watch the film, but from what I saw, the O-line came out today and we ran the ball well. Guys were creating separation. We just had a couple little minor errors. Things we usually don't do – drop the ball and things like that. Once we get that cleaned up, I feel like we are going to be coming for defenses."


On the difference of the rushing game today compared to the first two preseason games:

"I think the difference for me was the offensive line. They opened up some holes. Obviously you can see they had some holes that anybody could run through out there. I think just getting back to what got me to starting running back today. Just some hard runs, pushing the pile and stuff like that. So, we have to get back to the basics."

On the mentality of the offense after the interception:

"I mean, that was a good opportunity to change momentum and I think we took advantage of it. Just getting behind those guys, the hogs, and let them do what they do and I did what I did off of them."

On if the team is ready for the season opener against Philadelphia:

"I don't know. I can't speak too early. That one needs to go to Coach Gruden. I'm not going to predict anything, man. Hopefully come out there and pick up where we left off today."


On QB Kirk Cousins chasing down LB Vontaze Burfict after the interception:

"We don't look at it as the preseason. We are out there and we are competing and playing. So, he tried to make a play. I mean obviously I'm pretty sure he was frustrated, we were all frustrated, that he threw an interception or what not. It was definitely a risk, but he is out there playing the game. He is all right now so we're good."

On having TE Jordan Reed back on offense:

"It's great. I think that now that everyone is back for the offense that we are able to go forward and practice, get that camaraderie back within the unit and hopefully be ready and productive. We have Philadelphia coming."

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